The trilogy was also noted by critics for its conceptual monochromatic cover art, with 1 being blue, 2 being red, and 3 being yellow.[9]

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5s on 5s: MORT. vs. GYRO

Mort. vs Gyro let's go


I am making the rules up as I go along, and they go as follows:
・Mort and Gyro have a similar-ish number of 5s (40 vs. 32), but there's no easy way to compress them into a perfect 30 x 30.
・This is good because none of us have time for that shit.
・Instead, relevant match-ups shall be drawn as soon as they occur to me and, um yeah we'll see how that goes.
・There shall be ten rounds!

Let's go?
2American Football
American Football

ROUND ONE: First 5 on the list

MORT.: Mort's first 5 comes from a bunch of whingy emo pissheads who used to play in a far better band, and due to a huge accident of history known as The Fucking Internet, they are essentially The Velvet Underground of tedious midwestern trash that continues to gestate in bedrooms the WORLD OVER and inspire awful taste in self-pitying young adults with no self-worth or charisma. I have absolutely no wish to pander to it. Very shaky start.
3A Tribe Called Quest
People's Instinctive Travels & The Paths of Rhythm

ROUND ONE: First 5 on the list

GYRO: Watershed emo classic vs. pioneering jazz rap classic? Surprisingly cogent first round ig. To my discredit, I have never listened to A Tribe Called Quest before in my life. I am 7 minutes into rectifying this at this very moment, and hmm this match might be closer than I thought - not in love with the flow here at all. But scratch that, second track is much tighter and I am fw w/ it considerably. And hold the fucking phone - this came out in 1990? Damn, this production has aged well.

Winner of Round One: GYRO

My first thought for this Round Two was to do last 5 on the list, but as I have Gyro's last 5 5'd and haven't heard Mort's in full, this seemed unfair. Therefore I decided to focus on other categories unlikely to produce an obvious winner, and:
5Aphex Twin
Richard D. James Album

ROUND TWO: Most surprising 5

MORT.: Mort's 5s have a far more obvious overarching theme than Gyro's, which isn't a bad thing for this tournament, but it does make it easier to spot outliers. His Baths 5s were a strong contender mood-wise, but the songwriting is still accessible enough to explain them away. As such, I've gone for Mort's sole foray into more abstract IDM territory, courtesy of Aphex Twin.

Is this record good? Uh, sometimes - it has a couple of Aphex classics on it, but I don't think much of it as an end-to-end listen. It's a weird case of overly succinct and biting off more than it can chew - RDJ dipped his toes into frantic rhythmic ideas that would play out far, far better over Drukqs' gargantuan runtime and chased them with a couple of cute melodic pieces that, while much appreciated, hardly make for a coherent listen. Not a bad record though
6The Clash
London Calling

ROUND TWO: Most surprising 5

GYRO: Alright, hear me out - this record might be a shoe-in classic for many, but by my reckoning it's by far the most straightforward and (dare I say) wholesome record in Gyro's arsenal. There's something that chafes, agitates, despairs or eludes (though rarely overbearingly) in most of his picks - this, by contrast is a tremendously easy swallow.

Is this record good? You fucking bet this record is good! I love this record enough to immediately feel bad for Mort once I saw how the match had squared out (sorry sorry making this up as I go along). It does almost everything you can do as an ambitious but unchallenging rock band, and most of it sounds bloody great and has aged well. Minus points for its considerable influence re. popularising ska punk, but they can't all be winners

Winner of Round Two: GYRO

To avoid any unfair advantage, however unintentional, the order of competitors shall be changed every round from now on.
8Alex G

ROUND THREE: Calling card

GYRO: Choosing a single album to represent Gyro was actually quite the challenge, and since I couldn't think of an easy answer I projected my inner view of him onto a record I have never heard but distantly associate with him. What I sampled has some flair to it, but when Mr. G opens his mouth grating hipsterisms pour out and I wish it to stop. Pin more of your personality onto single memeable albums, folks, or you end up superimposed over neither-here-nor-there vapid whatever indie like this.
9Fear Before
The Always Open Mouth

ROUND THREE: Calling card

MORT: On the other hand, this was a no-brainer, for there can be no Mort without this album (and, arguably, none of us would still be talking about it without Mort). Is it good? Short answer - yes. I haven't spent enough time with this record to get the full scope of its many, many intricacies, but there is something contorted and exciting and highly inspired here that holds up beyond its wobbly harsh vox and somewhat dated production. It is also a Gyro 5, so I don't he'll have much issue with this taking an easy lead here. Mort wore it better though.

Winner of Round Three: MORT

ROUND FOUR: Most recently 5'd 5

MORT: Mort's most recent 5 is, shock of all horrors, by Mort's recent favourite band Shiner. Shiner are an awesome band, but I passed on this one several months ago after the first two tracks left me cold - in we go with a random later track ("Unglued"). Relieved to say it's a kicker - would probably take this over the majority of the Egg. Pacing on this and the following is a bit stodgy though - not sure the atmosphere carries as well in Rock mode as it might.
Kid A

ROUND FOUR: Most recently 5'd 5

GYRO: Kid A was not the 5 I expected for this criterion, but we shall roll with it. Re5ing it following a vaguely recent wipe feels like a very active choice, but I do not know how to parse the optics! Kid A is a good album with many good songs, and it flows seamlessly, and it means many things to many people. What to make of this?

Winner of Round Four: MORT. If this were based on quality, I would go with Gyro, but I'm not going to compare a record I know intimately with one I've barely heard, and Mort's 5 tells me more about who he is today than Gyro's does about him.
Forever Changes

ROUND FIVE: 5 I Dislike Most Actively

GYRO: Let's race to the bottom on this round: I probably dislike slightly more than I like about '60s psych pop, and although this album starts with a couple of excellent tracks, I find it irksome, charmless and slightly smug as an end-to-end. Extra points for disappointment given how much I originally expected of it.

ROUND FIVE: 5 I Dislike Most Actively

MORT: If we were going with the more straightforward 'worst 5', there would be strong challengers for this slot, but fortunately I do not care about Dance Gavin Dance's second album with their first creepy dude or for whichsoever redneck early mathcore bollocks. Obsidian, however, has soaked up enough of my time to actively grate on me. Bath's vocals leave me cold more often than not, his arrangements are frequently dull and the level of emotional gravity he reaches for rarely materialises. Very much dislike Mort's list's implication that this is anywhere near to as good as Cerulean

Winner of Round Five: TIE. Almost went with Gyro, but then I relistened to my favourite song on Obsidian (Earth Death) and realised it's a) an aggressively forceful antidote to all Love's fiddly bollocks and b) good enough to make me realise how uninvested I am in declaring either of these records better than the other and that this round was in vain. Whoops.
17City of Caterpillar
Mystic Sisters

ROUND SIX: Most recently released 5

GYRO: I originally figured that this would be Glitch Princess for Gyro, so called it off as Mort stood no chance, but when I realised his most recent 5 was Mystic Sisters, I thought there might be a fighting chance. This album fucks. It's one of the best comebacks I've ever heard. It has some of the best songwriting I've heard on any heavy record this decade and absolutely impeccable tension and release. I considered doing a head-to-head with the s/t since Mort and Gyro had different 5s from the same band, but this destroys that album for anyone not up to the ballsack in tormented nostalgnst. I considered being a smartarse and putting it against Jane Doe, since between CoC and Converge Mort and Gyro have two different 5s but two different bands (s/t would have been against AWLWLB), but y'know what fuck it, it might have cleared that too. Let's see what Mort has to counter...

ROUND SIX: Most recently released 5

MORT: Had never heard of this record before, but I guess it makes sense that it's an ambient project by the Baths guy. It's alright tbh! I like his approach to chillshit far more than his bleaker material, and although this come dangerously close to vanilla and/outright blandness in its chords etc., Baths' production is easily engaging enough to keep it going and I can happily vibe to this. But is it better than Mystic Sisters?

Winner of Round Six: GYRO, by a lightyear

ROUND SEVEN: Sex appeal

MORT: surprisingly robust showing here for Mort, given his horde of fast food post-hardcore 5s. Is it sexy? It definitely could be - you can dance to this and it doesn't lay it on too hard. This album is the soundtrack to a chad with bills to pay, the means to pay them, a handful of tasteful eccentricities, and the adjustment and class to know when and how to play them. Good form.
21Deltron 3030
Deltron 3030

ROUND SEVEN: Sex appeal

GYRO: the (uh) unconsummated choice here would have been Vespertine, but as anyone with the faintest lick of sense to them knows, earnestly using that record for spice points is equivalent to coming home un-unaccompanied, getting real steamy with your date for the first time, and screening your elitest collection of arthouse porn in the background in hopes that it will somehow aid their mood. I almost went for Heaven of Las Vegas and doomed Gyro to eternal softboi rejection instead, but this seemed cruel and Deltron 3030 wins the day. This record has vast but refined swagger and would unquestionably be the better of the two to play in a critical moment. The question is whether it sets a standard of sex appeal that Gyro could successfully incorporate into his inner being to the extent that he would reach that moment in our hypothetical and actually quite fucked up(!) music-as-personality ratrun - that's a tall, tall order for anyone.

Winner of Round Seven: MORT. Probably the closest round so far including the one that produced a tie, but I just feel it.

I ran out of ideas for the next round, so deferred to the first person on Discord who cared to respond - this turned out to be none other than SINTERNET, who named the round as Fruitiest 5 and named the following three metrics: Gay clout, beach body ready, and pairs well with a pina colada.
23David Bowie
Station to Station

ROUND EIGHT: Fruitiest 5

GYRO: Gyro's 5s are not exactly ripe for the picking when it comes

[the end of that sentence came early]. This leave us with a choice of two Bowie 5s - of these, Ziggy Stardust is obviously closer to Bowie's famous 1972 'coming out' as gay that people are still struggling to parse as a cultural declaration or a candid announcement of sexuality. The *optics* are shady here re. gay clout, so I will work on the basis that I simply cannot see Ziggy on the beach and zip to later '70s Bowie (as per 1976: “It’s true—I am a bisexual. But I can’t deny that I’ve used that fact very well. I suppose it’s the best thing that ever happened to me") and cover Station to Station instead

Gay clout: Mixed. Lot of writing suggests that Bowie was mainly a queer icon for straights. Minus points for cryptofascist readings of the Thin White Duke, though the homosocial overtones of the Nazi top brass might slightly counterbalance this for some. Since this is Gyro, I am not taking that chance.

Beach body ready: Ngl emaciated cokehead is not a strong beach look, but I will credit this album for packing enough chutzpah to pull off skin and bones.

Pairs well with a pina colada: This album will devour a pina colada.

ROUND EIGHT: Fruitiest 5

MORT: Lol as if there was any other answer.

Gay clout: GAY

Beach body ready: sunburnt twink/5

Pairs well with a pina colada: Adorable hesitant slurping

Winner of Round Eight: MORT. Absolutely no debate here.
26The Dillinger Escape Plan
Miss Machine

ROUND NINE: Pest Control

MORT: So the criteria of this round has to do with which 5 would get the most bugs out of a single building and/or room most quickly. Right! For Mort, I almost made the major mistake of going with something caustic (Polvo/Oxbow/City of Caterpillar/Daughters) - silly silly, that would have an influx of mites within a single heartbeat.

The answer here depends on a brutal yet methodical approach, and the given album is therefore Miss Machine. Miss Machine *will* clear your home of bugs (and also all love interests, an unfortunate collateral given Mort's previous victory (my gf fs w/ TDEP don't call me)) but at what cost??? Option Paralysis or Calculating Infinity would have cleaned the house in an instant and all would have been well, but Miss Machine is all about uneasy testosterone-added arbitrary destruction for sometimes better and often WORSE. Mort's foundations are knocked here - there are more than two songs on this album, babe
27This Heat

ROUND NINE: Pest Control

GYRO: Intriguing innovation of just outright murdering *all* the organisms everywhere in a single nuclear flashassault and somehow re-establishing pest control in the post-apocalyptic world to mourn their demise. gg.

Winner of Round Nine: GYRO

This brings the tournament to a 4-4 TIE, which is very tense and kinda awesome? The following round is going to have to be unpredictable, titillating, phwoaring and *decisive*. At this point, I have overstudied the 5s and personalities and conceivable fanfictions of both parties to death. We must therefore reach into the void and engage with variables that no-one would ever have expected, for the GREATER GOOD...

ROUND TEN SHOWDOWN: 4.5 that should be a 5 (and what this says about the 5s)

GYRO: yeah that's right we are going sub-5 let's see what we've got here: damn! Load of albums I adore here tbh (Tujiko Noriko/The Knife/Option Paralysis/The Veils/Saya Gray/motW/Slowdive/CTTS/Slowdive/Trophy Scars/Ada Rook/Dead Can Dance aaaah), which makes it difficult to choose a 5-that-should-be-a-specifically-Gyro-5-and-not-an-album-that-I-simply-think-should-be-5'd.

Flicking through Gyro's 5s once more (damn it's been a long game), I see an abundance of thoughtful, compelling ,often challenging (yet rarely *demanding*) albums that I largely enjoy greatly or in some cases outright love and can relate to for many of the same reasons. However (not dissimilarly to my own 5s tbqh), there's a slight skew to the oblique, the immaterial, the *leave you wanting more*, and a little reticence towards the Fucking Deliver The Goods Immediately spiel that can/might/will-sometimes define an instant classic (Feedbacker, London Calling and tbh Glitch Princess are forerunners in that regard). This list needs a bolshy FLEX, and Bambara have easily enough muscle to deliver as such. Stray isn't your best 4.5, but shit damn it's a force and that 5slist would benefit from it as such.

The significance of this will determine the showdown.
Youth of America

ROUND TEN SHOWDOWN: 4.5 that should be a 5 (and what this says about the 5s)

MORT: If Gyro's 4.5 list was full of temptations I chose to ignore, Mort's was full of possibilities I was loathe not to explore. Hex Enduction Hour or even Slanted and Enchanted as a showing for the spangled sardonic cunt we all know and love him as? Of Natural History as his largely bygone screwball fuckoff push Cosmology as an appropriately manic rounding for his phxc-spam side? William Basinski, Ryuichi Sakamoto or Stars of the Lid or a more measured manifestation for his inner ambient sophisticate? Music for 18 Musicians as the cheat card to win any contest? All interesting angles, but none of them quite the link with Essential Mort that I'm looking for.

Youth of America, however, does it all. It's everything worthwhile about Guitar Music in one package. It's an extremely rare album that caters equally to idiots who listen to flashy rock bands for cheap thrills as to guitarists who treat every showy guitarism with deep suspicion. It boasts atmosphere, intuitively tight songwriting and an enormous amount of influence on bands that were mostly good bands. It captures the grit and grain that fuel the *skronk* without ever being so lewd as to go there itself. It offers context and gravitas to a good many albums already in that 5slist, and suggests a scope beyond the 21st century that Mort's FERAL ROCK BINGE credits currently lack. Is it enough?

The significance of this will determine the showdown.

Winner of Round Ten: oof this is tough. With Gyro's 5s, I feel that I am plugging one single notable hole. With Mort's 5s, I feel an obligation to stick to an existing theme, and that if I suggest anything too far outside that theme cracks will start to appear and holes-to-plug will appear in short order. Gyro benefits from covering a wide range of bases and suffers for *almost* getting there; Mort benefits from consistency and suffers from homogeneity. This conundrum posits two remarkably different visions of what a 5slist should be, especially given the number of 5s and/or 4.5s shared by both competitors. Hmmm!!!

The winner of round ten, and with it this contest is...


In ordinary circumstances, we're meant to shrug off the jack of all trades/master of none trope, and this may have cost Gyro the contest, but Mort's particular Vibe is living on borrowed time and given his recent listening habits, I suspect that new additions/removals from his 5s in the next few years will confirm this. This was a good match between two worthy contestants - give Mort 2-3 years to get wherever he's going and I would be deeply intrigued to see a rematch, presuming Gyro conserves his edge.
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